Written by

What Are The Resident Requirements?

When applying for, and keeping public housing, there are many factors that PRHA must consider. Applicants are fully screened before being accepted. And families living in public housing must meet certain commitments in order to stay.

Applicant Screening for Public Housing

The screening process includes, but is not limited to the following:
  • Past performance in meeting financial obligations, especially rent;
  • Record of disturbances; record of destruction of property;
  • A history of criminal activity, including crimes of physical violence to persons or property and other criminal acts which could adversely affect the safety or health of the residents.

Family Responsibilities


Families may choose to pay a flat rent or have their rent based on 30 percent of adjusted gross family income minus allowable deductions. Deductions are allowed for:
  1. Elderly families (families where the head, spouse or sole member is 62 years of age);
  2. Dependents (members of the family who have not reached their 18th birthday or who are disabled. It also applies to family members 18 years or older who are full-time students, and have verification from the institution that he/she is attending );
  3. Childcare expenses (This deduction is available only to enable a family member to gain employment or further his or her education );
  4. Medical expenses; and
  5. Disability assistance.


Utilities are provided at all developments except. PRHA furnishes the following utilities as reasonably necessary: hot and cold water, gas for cooking, heat, and electricity. Utilities are provided to residents at no charge based on reasonable consumption rates established for each apartment size. Tenants are required to pay for all excess consumption of utilities above the monthly amount allocated for their apartment.


Tenants are responsible for keeping their home clean and safe at all times. The property must be free from trash, ashes, garbage, rubbish and other debris.

What Is the Role of The Authority?

The Authority is responsible for the management and operations of its local public housing program. The Authority also operates other types of housing programs.
1. On-going functions: (a) Assure compliance with leases. The lease must be signed by both parties; (b) Set other charges (e.g., security deposit, damages to unit); (c) Perform periodic reexaminations of the family's income at least once every 12 months; (d) Transfer families from one unit to another, in order to correct over/under crowding, repair or renovate a dwelling, or because of a resident's request to be transferred; (e) Terminate leases when necessary; and (f) maintain the development in a decent, safe and sanitary condition.
2. The Authority also provides other services such as: home ownership opportunities for qualified families; employment training opportunities, and other special training and employment programs for residents; and support programs for the elderly.

How Long Can I Stay In Public Housing?

In general, you may stay in public housing as long as you comply with the lease.

If at reexamination, your family's income is sufficient to obtain housing on the private market, the Authority determines whether your family should stay in public housing. You will not be required to move unless there is affordable housing available for you on the private market.